Kim Dotcom’s Mega Hits One Million Users within 24 Hours
Well, that didn't take long.
It's been all of one day – 24 hours or so – since the launch of Kim Dotcom's new "Mega" cloud service. And if the number of users that have flocked for their free 50 gigabytes of storage is any indication, it appears Dotcom has a bit of a hit on his hands.
According to The Next Web's Owen Williams, Dotcom has announced that Mega has already pushed passed one million registered users. While that's still just a drop in the bucket compared to the hundred million users that competitor Dropbox claimed in November of last year, it's a lot faster of a ramp-up. Dropbox – and we're just using this service as an example – launched in September 2008, but only hit the official "one million user" mark in April of 2009.
Mega quickly jumped up to around 100,000 users within an hour or so of the site's official launch. A few hours after that, Mega had ballooned up to approximately a quarter of a million users. Demand was great enough to knock Mega offline for a number of users attempting to either connect up or sign up for new accounts, and Mega's availability remains spotty as of this articles' writing.
"250,000 user registrations. Server capacity on maximum load. Should get better when initial frenzy is over. Wow!!!," tweeted Dotcom on Saturday.
"If you are currently experiencing slow access to #Mega its because of the unbelievable demand. We are working on more capacity," clarified Dotcom in a tweet posted later that evening.
Kim Dotcom’s Mega Launches Saturday With 50GB of Free Storage
Kim Dotcom this week provided "early-access users" a sneak peek at his new file-sharing service, Mega, which will open to the public tomorow.
According to TechCrunch's Ingrid Lunden, who got a first look at Mega, the site resembles a simplified version of Dropbox, with a folder to hold files, plus an inbox and contacts tab. Those looking for more than 50GB of free storage will be able to select from three paid tiers — €9.99 ($13.29), €19.99 ($26.59), and €29.99 ($39.90) per month for the respective 500GB storage/1 terabyte bandwidth, 2GB/4TB, and 4GB/8TB.
Kim Dotcom tipped his new project in early November, and has been tweeting all week to get the word out and entice new users.
"24 hours until Mega!," Dotcom tweeted today. "One more day! Are you ready?" he wrote (to which one follower responded with lyrics from a Les Misérables song).
Dotcom has revealed that Mega will include 50GB of free storage for all users. Mobile storage app MediaFire launched the Android version of its app this week, and also offered 50GB of free storage, but other cloud services offer much less, including Dropbox (2GB), Google Drive (5GB), and Microsoft's SkyDrive (7GB).
"Mega will have very generous limits for free users," Dotcom tweeted Thursday.
Megaupload User Data Preserved, For Now
Content stored on Megaupload servers will, for the time being, not be destroyed, a district judge decided today.
The two sides - the ill-fated Megaupload cloud storage service and the U.S. government - were also asked to confer with either U.S. Magistrate Judge John F. Anderson or a special magistrate within two weeks to see if the parties can come to an agreement, according to a Justice Department spokesman.
"Megaupload is pleased with the Judge's ruling in US in favor of server data preservation and ordering conference with experienced Magistrate," Megaupload lawyer Ira Rothken tweeted today.
The DOJ took down Megaupload.com in January for massive copyright infringement, and arrested several of its executives, who face up to 50 years in prison. Though founder Kim Dotcom resided in and operated out of a lavish New Zealand mansion, some of Megaupload's servers were located in Virginia, allowing U.S. intervention.
In February, the DOJ charged Dotcom and other Megaupload execs with additional counts of copyright infringement and wire fraud.
Following the Megaupload takedown, though, users expressed concern about the legitimate files they had stored on the service. What would happen to them? Virginia-based Carpathia Hosting and D.C.-based Cogent Communications leased servers to Megaupload. According to court filings, the Justice Department executed search warrants on the companies' servers on the same day that it shut down Megaupload.com. Officials copied select data from these servers but did not remove them from the premise.
Megaupload Shutdown Fails to Slow File Sharing
Megaupload has been down for three weeks now, and while Internet traffic took a dive in the immediate aftermath of the shutdown, file-sharing activity has not decreased, with users simply moving to other services, according to a new report.
On Jan. 18, one day before Megaupload was taken offline for massive copyright infringement, it had 34.1 percent of all file-sharing traffic, followed by FileSonic at 19.1 percent. Putlocker, RapidShare, and Vidoezer all had about 4 percent.
"MegaVideo was clearly the king," DeepField wrote. "In turn, most MegaVideo servers leveraged U.S.-based servers in Carpathia Hosting with some traffic going to Leaseweb servers in the Netherlands and other European providers / facilities."
After Megaupload went down, Internet traffic dropped by an "astounding" 2-3 percent, DeepField said. But that didn't last very long. By the end of the day on Jan. 19, there was simply "a significant re-allocation of Internet file sharing traffic." Putlocker had 27.5 percent of file sharing on Jan. 19, followed by "Other" at 17.1 percent and NovaMov at 14.6 percent, DeepField found.
Megaupload Files: Deleted By Thursday?
Two Web storage companies that hosted data for the now-defunct Megaupload could start deleting their files as early as Thursday, according to new court filings.
On the same day that the Justice Department shut down Megaupload for massive copyright infringement, the government also executed search warrants on servers owned by Virginia-based Carpathia Hosting and D.C.-based Cogent Communications, both of which leased servers to Megaupload.
Officials copied select data from these servers but did not remove them from the premises, according to a Friday letter to Megaupload's legal team. "Now that the United States has completed execution of its search warrants, the United States has no continuing right to access the Mega Servers," U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride wrote in the document, which was filed in Virginia district court.
Kim Dotcom: Apprehended Like the Spy He Always Wanted to Be
Kim Dotcom was apprehended the way he always wanted – like a spy. More a Sterling Archer than a James Bond, as the actual process by which New Zealand police picked up Megaupload's founder sounds like something that one would otherwise find in a Rainbow Six or Call of Duty mission.
According to Reuters, Dotcom allegedly barricaded himself inside a safe room within his $30 million dollar New Zealand mansion – one of the most expensive properties in the country, reports the National Post – once police began their raid Thursday.
"Despite our staff clearly identifying themselves, Mr Dotcom retreated into the house and activated a number of electronic-locking mechanisms," said Detective Inspector Grant Wormald in an interview with the National Post.
Backed by two helicopters, police entering the mansion had to ultimately cut their way through to Dotcom's safe room. And once they were finally able to enter, Dotcom was holed up with what is alleged to have been a sawn-off shotgun located in a nearby gun safe. He was apprehended sans disaster and carted off to a New Zealand jail, where he now awaits extradition to the United States.
Megaupload Shutdown Prompts Continued Anonymous Attacks, New Tactics
Hacker collective Anonymous continued its attack on the Justice Department Web site today in retaliation for yesterday's Megaupload takedown.
Separately, different versions of Megaupload popped up all over the Web in a "high tech game of whack-a-mole," ABC News reported.
"US Department of Justice http://justive.gov TANGODOWN (yeah again and again...) #ALLYOURBASEAREBELONGTOUS #Anonymous #cocks," Anonymous tweeted this afternoon.
Justice.gov has been intermittently accessible today; as of 2:45pm Eastern time, it was offline. In a statement issued last night, the DOJ said its server was experiencing "a significant increase in activity, resulting in a degradation in service."
The agency said it was investigating the origins of the attack, "which is being treated as a malicious act until we can fully identify the root cause of the disruption."
Last night, Anonymous also successfully targeted the Web sites of the FBI, the Recording Industry Association of America, the Motion Picture Association of America, and Universal Music.
The distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks came after the DOJ shut down Megaupload.com for massive copyright infringement. Property and domains were seized and executives were indicted on numerous charges that could land them in jail for up to 50 years.
After Megaupload Shutdown, Anonymous Hits DOJ, Universal Sites
Anonymous was quick to target the Justice Department, Universal Music, the RIAA, and MPAA in the wake of this afternoon's Megaupload announcement, with the Web sites for all four organizations succumbing to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
Justice.gov and universalmusic.com went offline around 430pm Eastern and have been largely unresponsive for the past 1.5 hours. RIAA.com and MPAA.org are also unresponsive.
"Recording Industry Association of America—Department of Justice—Universal Music—all TT, all TANGO DOWN," Anonymous tweeted this evening with the #OpMegaUpload hashtag.
Earlier today, the DOJ announced the shutdown of file-sharing site Megaupload. Seven individuals and two corporations were indicted for copyright infringement and could face up to 50 years in prison. Megaupload earned approximately $750 million for its exploits and incurred about $1 billion in damages, the agency alleged.
In its statement, the DOJ said the takedown was "among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States."